Down To The Dregs


And for 2014 I will learn to do a handspring.

And for 2014 I shall learn to do a handspring.

Well, it’s the last few hours of 2013 so I finally feel like it is appropriate to recap the year. Based on my morning perusal of Facebook 2013 was not a good year to many of my friends and associates, which I feel sorry about because it was a mighty good year to me personally. Maybe it’s because I had such a lousy year in 2012 when I spent months beset with anxiety and strangling depression that made 2013 seem so sunny and cheerful by comparison. Anyone who has ever experienced anxiety knows what a relief it is to wake up one day without the weight of dread on your head and shoulders.

I realize that this probably sounds pretty funny considering how much time I dedicated to bemoaning my anxiety over school and travel this past fall, but at least I had something to be anxious about which meant, correspondingly, that there was something that I could do about it.

But I digress: I don’t really want to talk about 2012- I want to talk about 2013. At the beginning of the year I set the following goals:

  • Floss everyday. (I’ve gotten out of the habit and need to get back into it.)

This one I was the best about keeping: I only missed about eight days. The biggest reasons for this seemed to be travel and bad moods: because sometimes you’re just too mad for dental hygiene. I plan to keep this goal for 2014. It’s a simple task but one that is super easy to neglect. Just having it on my resolution list seems to help keep me on track. Also, it has paid off: I’ve never gotten such good reviews at the dentist.

  • Run 1100 mile before next New Years Day. (About 3 miles per day for 365 days. I hope to build up my distance again so some runs will be much longer and some days I will rest and not run at all.)

Ha! Yes, this one fell by the wayside about halfway through the year. I was reasonably diligent about keeping it up until August and then completely dropped the ball. My longest run was 15.5 miles (June 29th). My total mileage for the year was 455.25- less than half of what I’d hoped to accomplish. In my own defense I made the resolution before I was accepted to any of the graduate programs that I had applied to, so the resolution fell short because of time and energy constraints rather than a loss of motivation. I want to keep exercise on my list: it’s good for me and I like doing it, but I probably won’t be quite as ambitious with my goals this year. Maybe I will just try to top what I accomplished this year: an even 500 miles or so.

  • Send Birthday cards to everyone in my address book in time for their birthdays.

There’s always one resolution that you make that quickly gets broken and then makes you feel guilty for the rest of the year. This was that resolution for me.

  • And on the subject of letter writing: to always write my letters on proper stationary, not notebook paper. I’m a grown-up now.

I did reasonably well with this goal, although I made a few exceptions when I was on the road or too busy to wait to sit down and write the letter on fancy paper. It’s a good policy, but I don’t think I will keep it as a formal resolution this coming year.

  • Update this blog everyday. Minimum of 365 words and 1 photo.

Yay! My most visible resolution! Yesterday I received my annual blog stats from WordPress and realized that I had only posted 603 posts during the year (604 including this one). So clearly I missed about 61 days: which seems like a lot when you consider that it adds up to almost two months of bloglessness, but in reality it amounts to about five missed posts per month. Most of these missed posts seemed to happen during September and October- right after I began classes- and after that I seemed to get back into the swing of things. I plan to keep this Blog-Every-Day resolution up for 2014, but I think it is time that I began to apply my writing towards specific topics rather than just a running commentary on my life.

  • Do artwork for 1 hour every day. I’ve gotten out of the habit and I SORELY need to get back into it.

Yikes. This one turned out to be another resolution that didn’t make it much past January. I do need to make more time for artwork, but clearly this wasn’t the way to go about doing it.

  • Double the number of hours I put towards filmmaking. If this is really what I want to be doing I need to be doing more of it.

I need to do some research on this one, but I’m going to tentatively call it a success. I don’t recall how many hours I had logged during 2012, but I would guess that it was somewhat shy of 1000 since the year also involved a cross country move. In 2013 I logged 1675 hours and 50 minutes. I began the year at 2205 hours and 19 minutes and I ended it at 3881 hours and 9 minutes. It may not be exactly twice as many hours but I’m going to say that it is close enough for government work. I’m still no master at filmmaking, but I think it’s safe to say that I’m solidly into “Journeyman”.

Would it be too ambitious to try to put in a full 2000 hours towards filmmaking in 2014? Difficult to say. It averages to five and a half hours every day, 365 days of the year, but I have the advantage of still being in class which should help keep me on track and I plan to do an internship over the summer. I’m going to go ahead and swing for the fences on this one: 2000 hours of filmmaking in 2014 and one summer internship.

  • Cross one item off my Bucket List.

In this case: get a bass guitar and learn how to play it. Well, I got it and I started to learn how to play it and then got way out of the habit. I feel infinitely worse about this resolution than I do about not doing artwork and not getting birthday cards in the mail on time. The longer I go without practicing the guiltier I feel. The guiltier I feel the harder it is to want to practice. I feel compelled to put this one back on my resolution list just so that I can  give it a second shot.

So where does that leave me for 2014? Here are my resolutions:

  • Floss every day.
  • Write a blog every day: 365 word minimum including 1 photo. Write about a few distinct topics. Have something to say about them. Say it in a distinct way.
  • Run 500 miles in total. Run Intervals sometimes. Do Pilates sometimes.Try to break a sweat more than once a week.
  • Dedicate 2000 hours to filmmaking. Do a summer internship.
  • Learn how to play one new song on the bass each week.
  • Read 5 books each month. School books count if I read them cover-to-cover.
  • Squirrel away some cash. I like the “52 Week Challenge” plan of putting aside a few dollars each week based on what week of the year it is (ex. Week 1 = $1, Week 52 = $52). I usually try to avoid resolutions that have to do with money, but this one seems doable and it wouldn’t hurt to have some savings for when it comes time for the dreaded Student Loans to be due.
  • Carry a sketchbook with me every day.
  • Once a month go someplace interesting with the Curmudgeonly Lion and take a photo of us there.

Well, 2013 was a full and adventurous year for me and I am going to miss it. 2014 is going to be a busy year and a lot of hard work, but I believe it is also going to be great fun. Here’s wishing you all the best and a very Happy New Year.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on December 31, 2013.

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